There is a clear role for the UK manufacturing sector in our collective effort to level up different parts of the UK. In its Levelling Up White Paper, the Government alludes to this bigger role for the UK manufacturing sector.
But how we increase the contribution of the UK manufacturing sector as a proportion of the wider economy is the key question.
We believe that a long-term economic strategy, which creates a conducive environment for manufacturers to invest and grow is critical – this should be developed through a cross-government National Manufacturing Plan. And this is supported by 62% of manufacturers too!
The Plan should be long-term, independent of political change, and driven by industry for industry. It should focus on identifying what the pillars of growth are, including:
- supporting the creation of new jobs and securing skilled workforce
- spurring on and sustaining investment across the sector
- boosting innovation and ideas to drive the sector’s transformation
- building a competitive, yet stable business environment
Furthermore, the Plan should provide strategic direction of how existing pots of funding can be better utilised. This will ensure that funding and support is targeting the places that need it the most, and where there is greatest value-add.